Canada: A Risky Business: A Constitutional Review Of Bill C-36


In the landmark 2013 decision of Canada v Bedford, the Supreme Court of Canada declared that certain provisions of the Criminal Code, relating to the communication and engagement of prostitution, violated section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The impugned provisions made it an indictable offence to keep a “bawdy house” for purposes of prostitution, live wholly or in part off the avails of prostitution of another person, and/or communicate with another in a public place for that purpose. The Court specifically determined that the provisions violated security of the person by preventing sex workers from taking legal steps, such as hiring drivers, receptionists or bodyguards, or meeting in an open, public place to screen clients, to protect themselves against the risks involved in such activities.

In arriving at this conclusion, the Court noted that Parliament was not precluded from imposing limits on where and how…